The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

Shift Your T&E Management Process from Chaos to Calm

Posted by Mike MacNair on Sep 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Shift Your T&E Management Process from Chaos to CalmAt MacNair, we use the term Travel Anarchy™ or unmanaged travel to describe organizations that have a chaotic Travel and Expense Management (TEM) process. While many organizations depend on travel to drive growth, those that are completely unaware of managed travel processes end up creating unnecessary costs for themselves in both time and money. Granted, it can be challenging for organizations to see the benefits and measurable impacts of a travel program without having a structured Managed Travel process in place. When this disconnect occurs, Travel Anarchy™ ensues.

The Unaware T&E Process

The “Unaware T&E Process” is something we find in organizations that are oblivious to the underpinnings of corporate travel. They understand it in a very binary and transactional way. This approach lacks consistency, clarity and control; resulting in lost savings, decreased productivity and diminished support for each trip. The graphic below shows an example of what those who are completely unaware of a T&E Process imagine it to look like:


The Managed T&E Process

When an organization’s travel strategy moves away from the Unaware T&E Process to one with a clear travel policy and systemic approach, calm will follow. The Managed T&E Process, is comprised of nine crucial phases:

Phase 1: Policy and Procedure Development

Phase 2: Authorization

Phase 3: Trip Arrangements

Phase 4: Policy Enforcement

Phase 5: Payment Management

Phase 6: Travel Support & Risk Mitigation

Phase 7: Expense Management

Phase 8: Reporting

Phase 9: Reviewing & Refining    

Each phase should be designed, implemented, maintained and reviewed in accordance with a company’s overall strategy and priorities. The Managed T&E Process turns a chaotic travel approach into a calm one, by: 

  • Directing travelers to use unbiased sources for itinerary searches
  • Enforcing policy and spending thresholds through pre-trip approval
  • Considering preferred supplier opportunities
  • Providing accurate, insightful and timely reporting to management 

Maintaining a managed T&E process that is continuously reviewed and refined, not only eliminates travel program chaos, but can also cut your T&E budget by up to 20%. Ultimately, travel will become what it was always intended to be – a driver for success.


As you can see, there should be organized phases included in your T&E process that move beyond transacting travel arrangements. The Unaware T&E Process lacks clarity, consistency, training and oversight, resulting in lost savings, decreased productivity and diminished support and control of each trip. While the costs relating to an individual trip might seem small; unnecessary and avoidable expenses quickly add up.

To learn more about the nine phases of the Managed T&E Process, download our free guide,

The Essential T&E Management Process Guide - Transform T&E from Costly Chaos to a Cost-Saving Managed Process.

In this valuable guide, you will gain a deeper understanding of the nine phases of The Managed T&E Process while learning how to measure and evaluate the potential positive impact managed travel can offer your organization.

The Essential T&E Management Process Guide 

Topics: T&E, Travel and Expense Management